all set for Athletic!
Madrid visits San Mamés for the last time ever (Athletic moves to a new stadium, San Mamés Barria, after this season) to take on Athletic (21h).
Here are some of Iker’s past experiences at San Mamés. I loved the moment when he picked up the bag of sunflower seeds someone had thrown at him and began eating!
Twenty players were called up for this game. Jesús was left in Madrid (apparently, this time around it was okay for him to train alone), as were Mesut and Álvaro, as the former wasn’t feeling well and the latter had back problems. Kaká and Essien were also left off of the list due to injury. After this game, the team will enjoy two days off before returning to training on Wednesday.
The team traveled to Bilbao on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, José Mourinho and José Morais traveled to Germany to watch Borussia Dortmund. I’m sure they came away with something, even though Kloppo asserted that “Mourinho will go home with information that won’t help him at all.” Mou and Morais arrived one hour before the team in Bilbao (from Germany). Once on the bus, MFC shared this adorable photo of him and Rafa.
That evening, Karim and Rafa met with Madrid’s fans in Bilbao.
That is one ADORABLE little fan! Look at those cheeks, I just want to pinch them!
These data, statistics and anecdotes come courtesy of AS and Mr. Chip.
101 games: Madrid is the visiting team that has played the most official games in San Mamés – 101 (81 Liga, 20 Copa). Madrid’s record for these games is 36-18-47, with 143 goals in favor and 168 against. If we only look at the Liga, Madrid has a record of 28-16-37, with 120 goals scored and 136 received.
The first time: Madrid’s first visit to La Catedral was on April 4, 1920, in the second leg game of the quarterfinals of the XVIII Campeonato de España. Athletic won the game 4-1, and as the first leg game had gone 1-1, they made it to the semifinals (they lost in the final to Barcelona).
González Calán: Madrid’s first goal in San Mamés was scored by Paco González Calán.
Difficult starts: Madrid received goals during its four first visits to San Mamés. Its first win was not until Jan. 27, 1929, in the Campeonato de España. Madrid won 4-1 behind goals from Triana, Lazcano and Rubio (2). An intense rain fell throughout the game.
Regulars at San Mamés: the players who have played in the most number of official games in San Mamés are Gento (14 in the Liga and five in the Copa), Pirri (14 in the Liga and one in the Copa), Raúl (14 in the Liga and one in the Copa), Camacho (12 in the Liga and two in the Copa), Iker (13 in the Liga and one in the Copa), Santillana (12 in the Liga and two in the Copa), Hierro (13 in the Liga), Sanchís (13 in the Liga) and Zoco (12 in the Liga and one in the Copa).
Decisive San Mamés: San Mamés ranks second out of all stadiums in Spain in the number of times the Liga has been decided there, with seven, behind the Bernabéu’s 20. Six of these seven Ligas were won by Athletic (1930, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1956, 1984). The only visitor to have won the league title there is Madrid, last season.
Di Stéfano’s goal: on Jan. 12, 1964, Di Stéfano scored his last away goal for Real Madrid. Madrid won 3-2, with the other two goals scored by Amancio and Puskas.
San Iker’s debut: Iker debuted with Madrid in San Mamés on Sept. 12, 1999. Since then, Iker has visited La Catedral in 15 official games, and only once was he on the bench: Jan. 3, 2006, in the Copa (Diego López played and Madrid won 1-0 behind a goal from Becks).
(Aitor Karanka said at the press conference on Saturday that “the truth is, San Mamés is special for all players, and even more so for Iker, because he debuted there, but also for me, for Xabi Alonso, who played for La Real, for Sergio Ramos, who has played many times there… I believe San Mamés is a special stadium for everyone.” Iker was so young back then! Look at that baby face!)
Two shirts: Juan José Urquizu (four with Athletic and one with Madrid), Antonio “Tolo” Ortiz (one and one), Hermengildo Elices (three and two), Lasa (one and three), Karanka (four and two) and Alkorta (eight and three) are the only six players to have played an Athletic-Madrid in San Mamés with both teams. Only Alkorta won with both teams and only Elices scored for both teams.
Casillas and eight others: nine Madrid players debuted in the Liga at San Mamés: San Miguel (1929), Torregrosa (1929), Valderrama (1931), Barinaga (1940), Roig (1944), Elices (1944), Ramos (1959), José Luis (1967) and Casillas (1999). Valderrama (the only one to score) and José Luis were the only ones who won that game.
86 goalscorers: Madrid’s 143 goals scored at San Mamés in official games were scored by 86 players, including own goals. Puskas (six), Raúl (five) and Hilario (four) are the top goalscorers. From the current squad, only Cris (two), Pipa (two), Kaká (two), Özil (one) and Sergio Ramos (one) have scored at the stadium.
Two’s the limit: no Madrid player has ever scored more than two goals in San Mamés in one game. Laca, Uribem Maguregui and Zubiaga have scored hat tricks on Madrid in La Catedral.
40 coaches: forty coaches have managed Madrid in San Mamés, including Miguel Muñoz (18), Del Bosque (six), Paco Bru (five). Out of these 40, only two won their first official visits: López Caro and Mourinho.
The 5-0 of 1996: Madrid’s biggest victory in La Catedral (5-0) came on Jan. 24, 1996 three days after Jorge Valdano’s dismissal. Del Bosque was on the bench, and Zamorano, Laudrup (2), Raúl and Míchel scored. Madrid’s biggest losses there were two 5-0s on April 8, 1923 (Copa) and Feb. 1, 1970 (Liga).
Muñoz’s record: Miguel Muñoz is the only Madrid coach to have won more than two consecutive games at San Mamés (he won five consecutive games between 1961 and 1964). Mourinho could join the list if he gets his third consecutive win on Sunday.
Expulsions: only four Madrid players have been sent off in San Mamés: Hilario in 1932, Gento in 1958, Uría in 1977 and Salgado in 1999.
Gento: in the 1958-59 season, Gento was not only sent off from San Mamés but also sent off during Madrid-Athletic match in the Bernabéu.
Enrique Ortego over at Marca tells us that the Athletic-Madrid match-up at San Mamés is the most frequent on in the history of Spanish football, as this will be the 102nd time that Madrid visits La Catedral to play Athleti. For Athletic, Piru Gainza has played the most number of these games (20), while for Madrid it’s Gento (19). Zarra is the top goalscorer for the lions with seven, while Puskas is the one for Madrid with six.
As for Castilla, they beat Recre 3-1 behind goals from David Mateos, Jesé and Óscar Plano on Saturday. Andrés Prieto got his debut as Tomás Mejías had to leave the game due to injury (luckily, it wasn’t serious). Castilla is currently 14th in the table with eight matchdays left.
And a few days ago, we had several of our players cheering on the basketball team in the Euroliga! Madrid won the game 75-63 to take a 2-0 lead in the quarterfinals against Maccabi Electra.
Hope your weekend has been full of sunshine so far!